Modestly-pitched, yet moving and involving, film which eschews those great emotional histrionics that make for showy romantic dramas - and this is all the better for keeping sentiment under control throughout.
Written by no less than Nick Hornby, this is based on Colm Toibin's novel of the same name (which I read only one year ago), and captures the atmosphere of that book to perfection.
Set in the early 1950s, it tells of a young woman (Saoirse Ronan, with a face on which it's easy to paint any character as required) who leaves her home in County Wexford, Ireland, to go to work in a job as sales assistant in a department store in Brooklyn New York, work which has been arranged for her by a parish priest and family acquaintance over there (Jim Broadbent). She has to leave her mother to be cared for by her similar-aged sister.
Once in America, in a ladies-only lodgings with a matriarchal, no-nonsense landlady (Julie Walters), she eventually loses her fish-out-of-water discomfort when she meets the affable Tony (Emory Cohen, with a screen presence that leaps out at you) a friendship which blossoms into something more serious. Unexpectedly called back to Ireland, she reluctantly returns, harbouring a secret. But her divided allegiances between the two places puts her in a quandary, exacerbated by an emotional involvement, and coming to a head when it's clear that the expectation is that she'll remain to live in Ireland next to her mother.
Director John Crowley, a name unknown to me, has created a small-scale but deeply effective, human-scale work which, by any justification, ought to be seen by a wider audience than this kind of unassuming film normally has the chance to view................................7.5.
3 hours ago